For centuries humans have gathered around music, our ancestors have always given relevance to music, even in ancient societies such as Greece and Rome it was considered part of their worship of the gods and even today it is a fundamental part of religious culture. And in contemporary societies, musicians are considered creative idols, not only because of their creative and musical expression but also because of the dedication they show in their musical approaches and the achievement of their goals.
This path could only be carried out with practice, correction and the acquisition of tools that benefit the development of the artist. Showing oneself publicly is the natural way to promote one’s professional career. Today it is necessary to have an account on social networks to be seen by many people, however, music contests can offer a little more than visibility. Mainly because they offer the possibility to meet influential people in the industry, travel, meet other musicians and above all the opportunity to gain knowledge through masterclasses even with world-class artists. For this reason, our post today is dedicated to music festivals and their evolution.
The 1920’s and the First World War
In the 1920s, reviews of classical music and concerts were prominent in the New York newspapers. Still, the critics’ sympathy was only dedicated to names already recognized in the field of music. However, Walter Wehle Naumburg, a wealthy banker, philanthropist and musicologist dedicated part of his fortune to promoting interest in symphonic and semi-classical music, helping to establish the New York Oratory Society and had the idea of creating free concerts in Central Park. The Naumburg Competition was established in 1905 and has been in force to date. The first competition included pianists, violinists and cellists and sometime later vocalists were included. Since 1970 the Naumburg contest has alternated between piano, strings and voice, although it has also been performed with an emphasis on flute, clarinet and classical guitar. Contest winners have the opportunity to make their own recording, perform two recitals at Alice Tully Hall, and receive a cash prize. This contest has been cataloged as one of the oldest and most prestigious of all.
At the same time in Warsaw, one of the few competitions dedicated to a single composer was founded, for this reason, it bears his name, Chopin. In 1927 when the pianist, teacher and conductor Jerzy Żurawlew gave rise to the piano competition, which would later become one of the members of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva. It is still in force, its last edition was in 2021 and they are already inviting the 22nd edition on their social networks.